- Elegant guesthouse and historic wine estate
- Tranquil rural setting with lovely views
- Fine dining restaurant, pool, tennis courts
- Excellent provision for families
Blue Gum Country Estate is an elegant guesthouse and wine farm which occupies a stunning location outside the picturesque town of Stanford, in South Africa’s Western Cape. A two-hour drive from Cape Town, this charming, family run property sits within 130 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and undulating hillsides. Dating back to 1839, the historic estate offers stylish boutique accommodation along with a gourmet restaurant, lovely gardens, a delightful swimming pool, and tennis courts. It will appeal to travellers seeking a tranquil, scenic, and highly comfortable rural retreat.
Communal areas in the main manor house include an inviting lounge with an open fire, and a conservatory with lovely views across the estate. The elegant restaurant has areas for both formal and relaxed family dining; a lunchtime room service menu is also available. The manor house library is equipped with a good selection of books, board games, and DVDs. Outside, the extensive gardens contain a lovely pool and loungers, and tennis courts for the more energetic. Needless to say, the outdoor ‘boma’ and bar is a popular spot for a sundowner or post-dinner drink.
Onsite activities include hiking along scenic estate trails, swimming, tennis, boules, and birdwatching. The nearby town of Stanford offers an extensive range of dining opportunities, along with a good variety of activities including river excursions, whale watching, kayaking, hiking, and artisan food and wine tastings.
The accommodation comprises 13 individually designed rooms and cottages, located either in the main house or within the verdant gardens. Ranging from stylish king size rooms with four poster beds and open fires, to family friendly two bed units with private patios, all units feature a blend of colonial and contemporary design and décor. Each unit has king or twin beds, a smart ensuite bathroom, and lovely mountain or garden views.
Families are extremely welcome at Blue Gum. The property offers several cottages suitable for children of all ages, boasting lovely views of the vineyards and distant peaks. Each of these wood-floored, comfy cottages comprises either one or two bedrooms with king or twin beds, plus a spacious bathroom with bath and separate shower. All units have a fridge, hot drink facilities, a TV and DVD player, and ceiling fans. Each cottage opens onto gardens with super views of the mountains, and several have private patios with seating. Close by is a children’s play area equipped with a trampoline, sandpit, and climbing frame. Baby monitors are available and cots, microwaves, and extra mattresses can be supplied, subject to a small surcharge. A babysitting service is available upon request.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019